Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Napking Rings are Beautiful

Napkin rings are so beautiful it is too bad that american families do not eat together and if they do they do not set formal tables. Including me. I eat with my husband when we are both home, but we eat in front of the tv. We do not set a formal table unless we are being romantic. We do cook for each other. I feel we (USA) have lost our glamour in our own homes. My friend comes over almost every Thursday, do I clean my house spotless? No. Suddenly it is okay for people to see the real us. To see how we live and that isn't always clean. Well forget it! I miss my napkin rings. I miss my cute placemats. I am clearing the junk off the table and moving it back to a place of power so that we will eat together with our cloth napkins and beautiful polish pottery and maybe even a centerpiece.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My First Etsy Mud Team Challenge Entry

I just completed and submitted my first Esty Mud Team Challenge Entry! The challenge was to create a serving piece. Pretty easy right? Well.. I found it very hard. I do not throw and I really wanted to have a bowl. My first idea was to take an old bowl and lay clay over it and let it set up. Then I would clean it up and decorate it. What a disaster! The bowl was uneven and very wrinkled. When I tried to fit it the bowl became worse and worse till finally in a fit of furry I ..... threw it across the room. Oops.

After a husband imposed time out my next idea was better. I used an old pot for the form. I covered it in thin plastic so clay wouldn't stick to the old pot. Then I rolled out a slab and used a cookie cutter to cut out round shaped. I layered the circles until I had covered the entire pot. Using my hands I pressed down on all sides and "squished" the clay together into one attached form. Four little legs were added. When it was tough enough to flip over I was delighted. The weird pattern of layered circles and the scalloped top hid the unevenness and wrinkles! So I decorated it and woala! Yeah!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quickbooks was created by the Devil

So I bought Quickbooks to help my husband with his business. Right now I do all of our finances because I am better at that stuff than him, mostly because it does not interest him. Anyways. I went to the library and borrowed a manual and started reading last night. I understand maybe 5% of what it is asking. For anyone who thinks accounting would be an easy job you are sooo crazy. There are all these excessively hard terms for no particular reason. Like inventory part, non inventory part, and inventory assembly. The first being if you buy and then resell items(grocery stores), the second if you buy and use items but don't really track how much you have because you buy it for specific jobs(remodeling), and the third if you buy parts to assemble into a whole(gift baskets). But pottery doesn't seem to fit into any of those because you don't buy and resell pottery unless you are like a paint a pottery joint, we do buys stuff for jobs, but mostly we use what we already have on hand, and we do buys parts and assemble them, sort of, but not really. So I had to just choose something. Then I realized I would have to take like a full fledged inventory. Yeah, which means I have to come up with a whole naming skeme and try to keep it simple so I do not have like a billion different items for sale. That was as far as I got in the book. I was daunted. I admit it. Maybe I'll try inventory tomarrow.... Its just that our inventory changes so often. hmmm....Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More on Coasters

Coasters take a long time to make. Let me outline the steps. Get press out. Find appropriate amount of spacers and set up press. Cut clay. Flatten clay with your hands. Put clay on press. Press clay. Smooth out clay on one side in three directions. Use drywall board and news paper to cover clay. Holding board on other side of clay flip boards and clay over. In this way the clay is never bent and you can now see the other side. Smooth the other side of clay in three directions. Cover clay with plastic. Using box lid cutter make as many coasters as possible between 2 and 5. Score around coasters. Remove extra clay around coasters. Smooth out the top of coasters with your finger from the plastic. Press whatever into coasters. Put whole board somewhere to dry. Take removed clay and kneed it to remove air bubbles. Start over and repeat until you have 160 coasters. Then fire them all. Then hand paint them in what ever way you want. We are painting in green, then wiping the excess off so that the cracks are green but the overall piece is brown. Yeah! Now run out and make your own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Too much time off.

Hello!!! I have been gone for too long. Things have been busy. I am currently working on a set of 100 coasters for a wedding in Ausgust. They are 4 inch square pressed with leaves then glazed in green. Let me just tell you it is not easy to find a coaster cutter. It has to be about 4inches and one quarter because clay shrinks when it is fired. Since we wanted 4 inch square coasters we had to find a square that was slightly bigger, no small feat. My husband and I went on a shopping expedition and what we found was a lid off of a square box that was the right size. No cookie cutters at all as far as the eye can see. We have been using the lid and of coarse it is not going to make it through all 100. So then we looked on the internet at a lot of pottery shops and they did not have any coaster cutters either! I was shocked. I did not know it would be this hard. If any one knows where they could find a tile or coaster cutter that would produce a 4 inch square tile when done firing I would really like to know where!

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